The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs



EXHIBITION: Landscape with Stones: paintings and woodcuts by Nick Schlee

An exhibition of oil paintings and woodcuts by British landscape artist Nick Schlee, focusing on Avebury and the Ridgeway.

This new exhibition features some of Nick Schlee's most bold and vivid work portraying the ancient monument of Avebury and the nearby Ridgeway. 

80 year old Nick says of the exhibition: 

"More than half of the pictures in the exhibition feature those mysterious ancient stones that mean little to most of us, but must have meant a great deal to our forebears. 

Painting them, without being able to share the feelings they engendered for the people who erected them, is a problem. I can only describe their outside appearance. The spirit within is closed to me. It is as if I were recording the skin of a peach without any idea of its taste, its texture and delicious succulence. 

We are probably all aware of the difficulties and dedication that went into bringing these stones to where they stand today. This is what, to my mind, contributes to making them so unnerving. Their presence disturbs me in the same way the purposeful ditches of Avebury disturb me. 

When I paint their portraits, from close up or afar, I am trying to find a place for them in the powerful rhythms, space and colour of the natural landscape. The result is that they take on the role of rugged, weather-battered statues. 

Because I find it impossible to find an understanding of them that matches my own experience I deliberately inject a febrile nervous energy into my drawing of them. I hope that in this way I will convey to viewers the former power they held for early inhabitants of the area. I tremble. But at what I am not sure. 

In contrast, the vast panoramas along the Ridgeway move me more directly. Here I feel more confident that I do not miss anything important. What I see of the rolling landscape with its sky and clumps of trees resonates powerfully in way that reaches inside me today as they must have always done to others over the centuries. 

I use heightened colour and emphasised rhythmic line in my paintings to try make sure that those looking at them share the excitement the Wiltshire landscape creates in me." 

Although this is the first time Nick's work has been exhibited at the Museum, he has had many solo exhibitions, including at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Gallery 27 in London and the West Berkshire Museum. He has also participated in many group exhibitions including Templeton College, Oxford and the Modern Artists Gallery. His work is held in public collections, including the City of London Guildhall Gallery, the Wessex Collection at Longleat House and Southampton City Art Gallery. 

More information about the artist and his work can be found on his website

*Exhibition runs from 14 January to 2 September 2012.*Cost:   Usual Admission Charges Apply

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goffik Posted by goffik
17th January 2012ce

Comments (1)

I'll have to get along to this. Meanwhile, here's the link to his Avebury and Ridgeway work.
tjj Posted by tjj
17th January 2012ce
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